Spotlight: Bowling LeagueJune 22, 2018
With the highest quantity of LLT participants to date, the latest 10-week bowling league was an absolute blast. Check out the video that captures LLT hitting the lanes and showing those pins who’s boss!
Q&A With The Man Behind The Camera
Always the man behind the camera, Vince Griff granted me an exclusive interview to answer a few questions about what goes into making such an awesome video–apparently it’s not as easy as it seems!
Q: What are some of the first steps you take before shooting any footage?
A: First, we looked around to see what other people have done based on flow which was the main component I wanted to concentrate on for this video. Then Mat and I were going through ideas, spitballing back and forth. Once we have a rough idea, it starts to grow from there.
For this video, we wanted to do something creative for the beginning. We really liked Edgar Wright’s style, super short and very quick clips that build momentum, wanting to go off that idea we started to think about how we could do that. We landed on the idea of trying to act hardcore serious in the beginning but because we’re a more humorous bunch we wanted to segway into being funny.
Q: For candid shots, how do you capture the moment when there is so much going on around you?
A: That is always a challenge because if you’re looking one way, you’re missing everything that is behind you. I try to observe who gives off the most energy out of everyone and try to hone in on that person first to get those hero shots.
Then I basically try to stay a fly on the wall. When you are doing candid shots, people become more aware of the camera but towards the end of the shoot you get the best stuff because everyone’s used to you being there, that’s when the real natural moments come out.
It also depends on how you position the camera, if you position it low behind someone and that person walks out of the way but you already have it framed for someone in the distance then that person is unaware you are filming them, they think you are filming someone else, so it works out but kind of a creepy way to do it.
Q: What are some tips you have for shooting in dark lighting situations, like the bowling alley?
A: That was the biggest challenge overall, especially the mixed lighting because you have the red on one side and the blue lighting on the other side. With most fluorescents, you can adjust the Kelvin to create more balance but this one I just had to eyeball it to get the general aspect. Since it was such a large shoot and a large building, we couldn’t really bring lighting in so we relied on using fast lenses with a large aperture. We were shooting everything mainly at a 2.8 and a high ISO, 3200 pretty much across the board. We were shooting at 60fps for the slow motion and we took that and multiplied it by 2 for an optimal shooting speed. The 1/120th shutter speed gave enough light while also maintaining the motion.
Q: How do you begin to sift through all the footage?
A: That’s a tough one too! My technique has changed over time, before I had a shot list and I’d go through that list and pick each clip to use. Now, I zip through all the footage, pick out my favorite shots and put them directly into Final Cut Pro. Then as I’m editing I can just go through, they are already there, super quick to grab one that feels right for that spot. Sometimes I’ll put the audio track in there too and if there is a part of the song that has a peak, then it needs a pop of motion that I look for. It’s a small thing but by timing the motion with the audio track it gives a lot of energy to the video.
Q: You’re in the bowling league too, how excited were you to create this video?
A: I had a lot of fun with it, I was pretty excited to work with Mat and Jake–Mat was the B camera operator. Usually, I’m the only one filming but it was cool working with someone because then we could bounce ideas off each other, see what kinds of shots he had verse what I had. I ended up using a lot of his shots, which was awesome!
It’s always cool to see someone’s different eye too, I hone in on different things. I go for energy but he might compose it differently to get more airiness on the right where I try to have the subject on the right and depth to the left but that’s my thing, it was cool to see the two different ways of shooting.
Q: Do you find it difficult to piece together the different styles of footage being that he has a different eye than yourself?
A: The challenge with two people shooting is they both have a different style and way of filming but that also is a tremendous benefit. There were some instances when going through the footage where I wished a few clips were a little longer but that’s just my preference and way of doing things. Based on my editing style, I have learned to just overshoot only because I like to have as many options as possible. While looking at the footage, it became obvious to me that Mat has a great eye and he caught certain angles that I didn’t think about capturing which was a lot of fun to work with in post.
Q: How do you know when to stop filming?
A: That is a gut feeling and it’s definitely a challenge. I look for the peak of action, say we are bowling for instance, if someone rolls a ball and you know they are going to wait until it hits the pins and then they are usually going to do something whether they are mad about the roll or happy, wait for that moment and get the action of them coming back to everyone whether it’s high five or an almost got it kind of thing.
Q: For projects that are a one-off event, do you find these situations stressful in that you don’t get a second chance to reshoot, how do you deal with that?
A: Before I would get super nervous but since I’ve done a ton of different video shoots like that I now know to just be prepared. Have an idea of what you’re looking to get out of it and don’t turn off the cameras until you get that. Also, I overshoot, I may be satisfied with what I’ve captured but I still keep going because you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes for weddings, I’m ready to get out of there and they ask me to hang out for a bit then five minutes later someone is dancing on the table.
With the bowling video, I shot until the end just to get as much footage as possible. We ended up with 3 hours of footage and we only used a minute-thirty of it.
Q: Any future plans for LLT videos–any we should look out for in the future?
A: We are planning a process video that I’m super excited for. It’ll show what goes into a full project from start to finish–onboarding, brainstorming, concepting, and so on. I think that is going to be an awesome one, a lot of planning and shooting, but will come out pretty cool.
I’ve always wanted to do a horror video for Halloween so hopefully, we can do that one too.
Q: What was your favorite part about joining the bowling league?
A: Definitely hanging out with everyone–I’m a shit bowler. Getting to know everyone a little bit better because it’s different hanging out with people at work verse outside of work. You find out more personal stuff, both good and bad, only kidding…all good. You build a stronger relationship outside of work rather than just at work.
Q: Would you do bowling again?
A: Yes, I think I’m going to take a break for a season and try some volleyball just because I can spike, I don’t know if I can actually spike though.
We love how Vince captures the culture at LLT, he has lots of ideas brewing so check back later this year for hopefully another sweet video and more candid interviews with the team.